Nǐ hǎo meets Servus: the Chinese community in Bavaria
China is Bavaria’s most important trading partner in Asia. The partnership between the two countries works well and economic relations are particularly strong. It is therefore no great surprise that some 400 Chinese companies have now settled in Bavaria. In the meantime, roughly 22,000 Chinese citizens live here, forming a large Chinese community in Bavaria. In this blog post you can learn more about this community and the relations between China and Bavaria.
Facts and figures China in Bavaria
In 2019, approximately 23,500 Chinese citizens were living in Bavaria and more than 8,000 of them in the state capital Munich. The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China has been based there since 1997. There are currently a total of 19 town and regional partnerships between Bavarian and Chinese towns and municipalities. Furthermore, Bavaria itself has had provincial partnerships with Shandong since 1987 and with Guangdong since 2004.
More than 160 university partnerships between Chinese and Bavarian universities currently exist. These promote academic exchange and scientific cooperation between the two countries. More than 4,000 Chinese students now make up the largest proportion of non-European students in Bavaria.
From Munich Airport there are also 32 direct flights a week with two different airlines to three major Chinese cities: Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai (Note: this information refers to the flight schedule before the Covid-19 pandemic). Some Chinese kindergartens and schools are also represented in Bavaria.
Chinese companies in Bavaria: Innovation from the Far East
The approximately 400 Chinese companies that have a branch or office in Bavaria benefit above all from the Free State’s central location in Europe. This also ensures good links to Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, Bavaria has an impressive infrastructure and a large supply of highly qualified specialists. The excellent cooperation between companies, customers and partners from business and science is also another bonus in the Bavarian economic region. The main focus of Chinese investments in Bavaria is on these industries:
- Automotive and automotive supply
- Mechanical and plant engineering
- Sensor Technology
- Medical Technology
- Bio and Life Science
Many high-tech companies from China, including some global players, have recognised Bavaria’s locational advantages and have opened a head office here, e.g:
These Chinese companies bring pioneering technologies and ideas to Bavaria. Cooperation with Bavarian companies, Bavarian research and innovative start-ups from Bavaria, results in ground-breaking cross-industry innovations in some cases.
Economic relations between Bavaria and China
Economic relations between Bavaria and China have intensified in recent years. This is also shown by the steady growth in bilateral trade volume between the two countries. In 2006 this was still at 13.8 billion euros. In 2019, the trading volume had already more than doubled and stood at 33.9 billion euros. This makes China Bavaria’s largest trading partner worldwide. The Chinaforum Bayern is an institution that supports the constant promotion of Bavarian-Chinese relations, especially in this area and also in the context of political issues. Ingolstadt is also home to the China Zentrum Bayern , which acts as a central contact point for Chinese entrepreneurs in Ingolstadt.
Since 2017, there has also been a representative office of the Chinesischen Handelskammer in Deutschland e. V.in Munich, which serves as a regional contact point and, among other things, coordinates local activities for Chinese companies. For local support, Bavaria also has three foreign representative offices in China: in Shenzhen (Guangdong Province), in Qingdao (Shandong Province) and in Chengdu (Sichuan Province).
Chinese culture in Bavaria
Together with the many other communities, such as the Japanese community in Bavaria or the American community in Bavaria , the Chinese community makes a major contribution to cultural diversity in Bavaria. It places great importance on its own culture and preserving this in Germany. Therefore, there are various Chinese cultural groups and associations in which the community meets regularly, exchanges ideas and preserves its traditions.
The Konfuzius-Institut München is committed to offering anyone interested the opportunity to get to know Chinese culture. In addition to Chinese language courses, the institute also offers cultural workshops, cooking courses and courses in the fist fighting technique Taijiquan (Tai Chi) or in the health method Qigong. Intercultural dialogue is very important to the institute, which continues to promote this through various events and projects.
The Chinaforum Bayern also has an interest in bringing the People's Republic of China closer to the Bavarian citizens both economically and culturally. The Chinaforum has been organising the Bavarian-Chinese Spring Festival together with various partners, including Invest in Bavaria, since 2012. The Breakfast Club, which takes place every two months, also invites Chinese and Bavarian citizens to exchange ideas.
The typical Chinese food has also been in Bavarian mouths and hearts for decades. Spring rolls, sweet and sour Peking duck or fried noodles are popular everywhere and regularly end up on plates in Bavaria. The same applies to the Chinese martial arts, which are taught in many martial arts schools in Bavaria. In this way the Chinese community contributes to the acceptance and understanding of their culture in Bavaria, which in turn underlines and strengthens Bavaria’s position as a culturally diverse federal state.